Happy New Year! This 2023 don’t neglect the Core Four Practices when it comes to food safety. Remember these core four practices for food safety and reduce your risk of foodborne illness, provided by Fight BAC - Partnership for Food Safety Education:
Wash hands and surfaces often with warm water and soap. Bacteria can be spread throughout the kitchen and get onto hands, cutting boards, utensils, counter tops and food. Always use the food safety practices of:
- Washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers and handling pets.
- Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next food.
- Using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
- Rinsing fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.
- Rubbing firm-skinned fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.
Don’t cross-contaminate. Cross-contamination is how bacteria can be spread. Improper handling of raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs can create an inviting environment for cross-contamination. As a result, harmful bacteria can spread to food and throughout the kitchen leading to a foodborne illness.
- Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags and in your refrigerator.
- Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry and seafood.
- Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.
- Cook to the safe internal temperature. Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Use a food thermometer and reference the Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart for Cooking to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods.
Refrigerate promptly. Refrigerate foods quickly because cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria. Do not over-stuff the refrigerator. Cold air must circulate to help keep food safe. Keeping a constant refrigerator temperature of 40 °F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure the temperature is consistently 40 °F or below. The freezer temperature should be 0 °F or below.